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Tiger Mountain   8 comments

For the last nine months I have been studying Tai Chi with David Block at Phoenix College.  I am not a good student.  I have neither grace nor balance nor dedication, but I do what I can.  The things I know with my head don’t translate that well into the things I know with my body, but I try, and I am learning some things little by little.  I still can’t flow all the way through the first set without making mistakes or putting my foot down in the wrong place, or lifting my shoulders when I should be lowering them or falling over backwards when I should be rising and kicking forward, but I have moments when I almost feel I understand parts of what I am doing.  The teacher is very patient, and he has to be with a student as poor at this as I am.  I think I will always be a better writer than a martial artist, but I do what I can.  Lately I have been inspired by my exercises to reconstruct this poem–I do not know if some Tai Chi master has already written the Tiger Mountain poem or not.  Perhaps for them it is simply a series of phrases used for teaching their disciples.  For me, it is more of a poem, and it has to have a story.  Story is very important in my life.  I cannot just Be.  I must Do.  I must Create–even if what I make is only a sequence of words in my mind.  Still that is who I am and what I do.  Out of Tai Chi, this poem has arisen.  I put it out there in the world because it needs to get out of my mind and into reality.

Ceifu talks about old friends and new friends and how we students are all babies in Tai Chi, taking baby steps. Thus my image of myself as a baby tiger. Strange for an old man like myself to be a baby, but then, I want to be young, so I can dream myself as a tiger cub.


Tiger Mountain

          Reconstructed by Ken St. Andre

The sun rose over the mountain.

The moon sank into the sea.

Clouds sailed through the sky.

(The Goddess was there.)

From clouds She wove

Heaven and Earth.

Then the Tiger (attacked)

(and) Brought the Horse

To its knees.

He saw the Twin Peaks

And Crossed the stream

Where herons lifted their wings and Pushed

Until peace came at last.


 (Meditate, Relax, Do it again until it flows.)


So many forms to learn, and when we do, still we know almost nothing.

If you do Tai Chi, or have met a tiger on a mountain, feel free to leave a comment here.


Posted November 16, 2011 by atroll in Tai Chi, Tiger Mountain, Uncategorized